1937-43 MARY LUNDIE NÉE HAINES

It is difficult to know where to start, probably at the beginning when I was brought to Fawcett by my parents and introduced to Eva who to me looked like an old lady though she must have been early fifties. Our half term picnic was to Longleat which I so much enjoyed. Eva always found good places to go to. Do you remember black berrying the first Saturday of Autumn 1940 when Miss Jerred became Head? I suppose that Eva was senior Housemistress and thought that Miss Jerred should be entertained and get to know us. I was impressed to find a Head who wore the same kind of clothes as my mother. Teddy E-R went about in such odd garments and yet later I realised that I could talk to her much more easily.

I wonder what happened to our table silver? It was such a pleasure to me and so useful for knowing whose plate was whose for second helpings; especially E. Muriel Box, Lorna K. Box and M. Rothera whose spoon was a different shape. You ask what we were given which enabled us to survive, when I stop to think about it which I don’t very often perhaps it was that we were given examples of work – doing the job in hand – faith – duty, and caring for those less fortunate than ourselves. That sounds “hi falutin” and pi but what we saw Eva doing was just that and doing it well and passing that underlying sense onto us to develop on our own. When one stops to think about it Eva M. was a remarkable woman. She ran the House superbly, servants, kitchen, girls; and also handled all the work of the Bookroom at school. She gardened and even had boxes of plants for our gardens. She produced two Nativity Plays. Ruth and I were shepherds in the first and I remember Monica’s copper curls as the angel. In the second you and Ruth were Rings, and I think Daphne Goddard, who went on to act professionally. She gave excellent House parties. I remember that pre-war firework party when the whole lot went off at once. She was lucky; a rocket could have gone sideways with horrible results. I remember a fancy dress summer party in her last term. I wore Eva’s mother’s wedding dress, a lot of it had torn away but I managed. I never hit it off with Polly Payne. I don’t know why; perhaps because my father had told me that the reasons why we need sleep are unknown, but when in Rose Villa I asked Polly she said something about rest and repair and I felt fobbed off. Do you remember the air vibrations of Dunkirk; we didn’t actually hear guns, just felt the vibrations. The responsibility for thirty girls at that time was awesome, but we were lucky and neither bombed nor invaded, although many poor staff did nightly warden duty. This could go on forever. I must stop, but I kept in touch with Eva until the end.